Editorial: Women who've seized the day

There's nothing like the annual appearance of MT's renowned '35 Women Under 35' list to make me feel old. And inadequate. And, of course, male. Every year it's the same, as another hair whitens and another wrinkle is etched. Maybe it's time for a chemical peel.

by Matthew Gwyther, mt editor
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Just to make things harder for myself, I decided this year for the first time to attend the cover photoshoot. We've done a little video about the women, which you can see on our website. Our cover stars showed me up. Whereas I had to do my piece to camera about nine times and my eyebrows behaved like a pair of caterpillars on speed, the women were all smooth and soundbite-perfect. God, I could cry.

This year, we have the youngest woman ever on the list: Tanya Budd - all of 20. Tanya hasn't even graduated from university yet but already has an award-winning design in production. We've got engineers, fashion designers, lawyers, headhunters and even the chief adviser to the COO at the BBC. And one of the women at the shoot was 40 weeks pregnant - I bet you can't spot which one she is. She wasn't into bump-flaunting.

The one who really got me, though, was Emma Reynolds. She has her own talent and recruitment consultancy, plus a research business that specialises in trying to work out what Generation Y is all about. She's from Queensland and she has carpe diem tattooed on her foot! She has certainly seized the day - and squeezed it to within an inch of its life. How is she going to make 30 without having been there and done it all?

For my part, I've been on my travels to somewhere slightly less exotic - Gibraltar. It's the adopted home of Victor Chandler, the 'Indiana Jones of global gambling'. Gibraltar is a fairly charmless place, filled with some odd types - Mark Thatcher is rumoured to be on the point of seeking refuge there. But Chandler is quite something. In an industry that is rapidly growing corporate and mainstream, he's the most swashbuckling of entrepreneurs and has endured some big ups and downs as he has built his bookie's fortune.

Chandler is famous for the longstanding high-rollers among his clientele. He knows many of them personally, including the painter Lucian Freud, and he admits it's an odd business relationship. 'A personal stockbroker is there to make his client money. I'm not like that.'

On one wall of Victor Chandler's office is written: 'A moth lives longer than a winning VC account.'

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